Future Prospects of Law Graduates Report and Recommendations
In June 2014, the Law Society Council established a Working Group to consider the question of employment prospects for law graduates. The Working Group represented a cross-section of the legal profession in NSW, including from large and small firms, corporate and government practice, regional and city areas, and young lawyers.
The following key findings were made:
- There is anxiety within the legal profession and law schools about a lack of employment opportunities for law graduates.
- There are numerous drivers behind this perceived problem, including economic, systemic and educational factors.
- Some of these factors are outside the Law Society’s sphere of influence.
- While anecdotal evidence is strong, more solid data must be collected in order to get a more accurate snapshot of the state of law graduate employment in NSW.
- The Law Society’s current offerings around graduate employment can be broadened and enhanced.
- The Law Society and universities should work more closely together to develop solutions.
- A co-ordinated, national response is desirable, given concerns about an over-supply of law graduates in other states.
Based on the key findings, the following recommendations have been made:
- Gather more statistics and data on graduate numbers.
- Track law graduates to obtain evidence of employment trends.
- Increase firm participation in the Law Society’s Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Programs.
- Elevate the status and efficacy of the Law Society’s Job Board.
- Provide CPD sessions targeted at assisting graduates with job-seeking skills.
- Use the Law Society website to provide a clearer picture of the graduate jobs market.
- Work more closely with universities to provide relevant information about job prospects to graduates.
- Develop a role within the Law Society specific to the coordination of law graduate job initiatives.
- Work with other Law Societies to develop a coordinated approach to the issue.
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